Pickup basketball is a weird social phenomenon where a bunch of strangers meet at a designated spot during a designated time to engage in an athletic competition governed by de facto rules established in some mythic rulebook. There are a lot of moving parts, which is why it's so important to find a basketball court that suits your needs. That makes Joe DiMaggio Playground, located in North Beach, a haven for amateur hoopers. Once a patch of asphalt with crumbling hoops, the newly renovated courts have glass backboards, soft rims, and a cushioned surface that is gentle on the knees. Plus, it's tucked inside a low-lying nook between Powell and Mason streets, keeping the games protected from the notorious San Francisco winds that can make every jump shot an adventure.